Chiang Mai Tour Guides Protest Against Illegal Chinese Competitors

 | Tue 26 Aug 2014 00:00 ICT

CityNews – Tourist guides in Chiang Mai have protested against illegal Chinese guides they say are taking their jobs.
Tour guides at last week’s protest.

Around 30 members of the Lanna Tourist Guide Association protested outside Chiang Mai provincial hall last Wednesday, urging officials to take action against operators of so-called zero-dollar tours and kickback tours.

They claim these tours run by Chinese nationals deceive tourists, damaging the image of the country and real tour guides.

On the zero-dollar tours, Chinese tourists are offered a cheap rate for a package trip to Thailand but are forced to buy extra services or pressured into buying expensive goods from selected shops. In some cases, tourists have reportedly been threatened and abandoned by their guides when they refuse to do so.

The kickback tours involve Thailand-based tour companies paying Chinese agencies to supply them with tourists.

Two Chinese nationals have been arrested in Phuket for working illegally as tour guides in a crackdown on unlicensed tour guides, the Bangkok Post reported last week.